What Does A High White Blood Cell Count Indicate – During pregnancy, your blood volume increases by up to 50%. Hemoglobin levels decrease and the hematocrit i X percentage of red blood cells (RBCs) in the blood (especially in the last trimester) and the number of platelets decrease slightly. However, white blood cells (WBCs) in the blood increase after pregnancy, which is called leukocytosis.
Leukocytes, or WBCs, are classified into agranulocytes (lymphocytes, monocytes) and granulocytes (eosinophils, neutrophils, and basophils), which make up the body’s immune system and fight infection (1).
- 1 What Does A High White Blood Cell Count Indicate
- 2 High White Blood Cells And Cancer
- 3 Normal White Blood Cell (wbc) Count By Age
- 4 Overview Of White Blood Cell Disorders
- 5 Neutrophil Blood Test: What High And Low Levels Mean
- 6 What Does A High White Blood Cell Count Mean
What Does A High White Blood Cell Count Indicate
Read this post to learn about the causes of high WBC count in pregnancy and the complications associated with this condition.
White Blood Cell Count Profiles In Multiple Sclerosis During Attacks Before The Initiation Of Acute And Chronic Treatments
After pregnancy, there is a gradual increase in the normal WBC count (leukocytosis), with a slight shift to an increased percentage of neutrophils.
Leukocytosis begins in the first trimester, continues throughout pregnancy, peaks at delivery, and usually returns to normal after four weeks (1) (2).
XA pregnancy is characterized by the onset of high blood pressure, protein in the urine, water retention, and gestational diabetes.
(GDM) (3) (4). Therefore, leukocyte counts should be correctly interpreted and correlated during your prenatal visits and postnatal care (1).
Dangers Of High & Low White Blood Cells + Underlying Factors
During pregnancy, white blood cells are regularly checked for signs of infection or inflammation in the body. WBC levels peak between eight and forty weeks of pregnancy. As seen in the graph below, they peak around week 32 and begin to slope downward (12).
Even in healthy pregnancies, it is common for a woman’s WBC count to increase, especially toward the end of pregnancy. However, if this elevation is accompanied by any signs of infection or other medical conditions, it may warrant further testing and evaluation.
Specific causes of elevated WBC counts include bacterial or viral infections, leukemia, rheumatoid arthritis, tuberculosis, and certain medications (such as epinephrine).
XA hormone, a neurotransmitter responsible for the body’s fight-or-flight response to corticosteroids), severe allergic reactions, and even severe stress. Any bacterial or viral infection in the body can cause an increase in a person’s white blood cell count.
High White Blood Cells And Cancer
However, due to the physiological stress of pregnancy, you may have a high WBC count even during a normal pregnancy. Therefore, maternal WBC count is not feasible as a primary screening technique to detect serious pregnancy complications (5). Conversely, an increased WBC count in your urine sample indicates a urinary tract infection (UTI) (6).
Recalling an emergency room visit during pregnancy (due to suspected blood in the urine), the mother of twin girls says, “The doctor came to tell me about my high WBC (white blood cell) count, and yes, actually, blood in my urine. I was diagnosed with a minor bladder infection which caused blood in my urine. Prego-friendly antibiotics will do the trick to clear it up (i).”
XA A complex system of glands and organs that produce hormones, metabolic processes, and the reproductive system undergoes many changes to nourish the developing fetus and prepare the body for labor and delivery. As your pregnancy progresses, this physical and emotional stress increases your leukocyte count because the leukocytes receive stimulating impulses (7).
During a healthy pregnancy, leukocytosis is commonly known as an increased percentage of neutrophils in the blood. However, there are several types of WBCs, and high levels of other WBCs may indicate different diagnoses (1) (8).
Normal White Blood Cell (wbc) Count By Age
An increase in the WBC count is due to an increase in the number of neutrophils and lymphocytes (1).
Studies have shown that lymphocyte counts decrease during the first and second trimesters and increase during the third trimester (1).
Common blood tests during pregnancy, the complete blood count (CBC) test, usually measure the number of leukocytes. Your doctor may perform diagnostic tests for hemoglobin, WBC, and platelet count to check for conditions complicating pregnancy (6).
A high white blood cell count may not show any symptoms during pregnancy. However, symptoms of an elevated WBC count in non-pregnant women usually include (9)
Overview Of White Blood Cell Disorders
If you experience any of these symptoms while pregnant, contact your healthcare provider, as they may be a sign of infection or underlying medical complications.
Although leukocytosis is common in pregnancy, it can also be the result of an underlying problem that cannot be detected by routine prenatal WBC count tests and requires additional screening. In the first trimester, high platelet levels and WBC counts are associated with a high risk of miscarriage, thus highlighting the importance of monitoring these markers for pregnancy complications (5) (10).
An elevated WBC count during pregnancy, also known as leukocytosis, is caused by the physical stress of pregnancy. A moderate increase in WBC count is normal during pregnancy. However, if the WBC count is abnormally elevated, it may indicate an underlying condition or infection (8).
Regular blood tests performed by health care providers throughout pregnancy help monitor for possible abnormalities and ensure the well-being of both mother and baby. However, you can take general precautions to reduce the risk of infections and inflammatory conditions, such as maintaining good hygiene, staying hydrated, eating a balanced diet, and following prescribed medications religiously (13).
Low High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol And High White Blood Cell Counts
Although there are no characteristic symptoms to depict a high WBC count during pregnancy, some women may experience bleeding easily, high fever, fatigue, and weight loss. Also, during pregnancy, there may be an increase in the white blood cell (WBC) count starting as early as the first trimester. This is due to sudden pregnancy-related changes in the body. A slight increase in the WBC count is expected during pregnancy, and it can sometimes be a sign of infection, dehydration, or other medical problems. Therefore, it is advisable to seek medical help if you experience any strange symptoms while pregnant to prevent adverse conditions affecting the well-being of the mother.
One of the hematological parameters during pregnancy is an elevated white blood cell (WBC) count (leukocytosis), which is usually normal. However, some underlying problems can increase the WBC count during pregnancy. The infographic below covers the effects of different white blood cell increases during pregnancy.
Learn about the symptoms of high white blood cell (WBC) count and effective management techniques. Get the answers you need to stay healthy during pregnancy.
Articles include first-hand experiences to give you great insights through real-life narratives. Here are the sources for the individual accounts mentioned in this article.
Neutrophil Blood Test: What High And Low Levels Mean
The articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert writers and institutions. Our references contain sources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
Dr. Miguel Racio Osorio started his career in 2004 and has 19 years of experience in various fields of gynecology. After two years of internship and social service, I decided to specialize in G&O. Since 2013, Dr. Razo has dedicated his training and practice to improving the obstetrical and gynecological health of his patients.
Rashmi Das has four years of experience as a Clinical Coordinator, Medical Content Writer and Medical Conference Coordinator. Her constant interest in medical journals and writing prompts her to write well-researched articles. She writes health and wellness articles for children, pregnant and lactating women. Rashmi completed her Masters in Biotechnology from MITS School of Biotechnology, …more
Rebecca is a pregnancy writer and editor with a passion for providing research-based and engaging content in the fields of fertility, pregnancy, birth and post-pregnancy. She graduated in Biotechnology and Genetics from Loyola Academy, Osmania University and obtained certification in ‘Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pregnancy’ from Ludwig Maximilian University (LMU), Munich. She is healthy and… more
Wbc Count: What Is The Normal Range? How To Increase Wbc Count Naturally?
Anisha holds a Bachelors in Biotechnology from USTM, Meghalaya and a Masters in Applied Microbiology from VIT, Vellore. She has two years of experience and has worked on different research projects in the field of food sciences. Also, she has internship experience as an R&D Project Trainee in Oil India Limited. As an author, Anisha assures…moreHome / Health Insurance / Articles / Diseases / Overview of High White Blood Count: Meaning, Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
Although white blood cells (WBC) are essential for the body’s immune response, they make up only 1% of the total blood cells. A high white blood cell count (HWBCC), also known as leukocytosis (LKT), can indicate a variety of health problems, including infection, blood or bone marrow disorders.
HWBCC indicates that your body is dealing with an infection, allergic reaction, or inflammation. This is because when you get sick, your body produces more WBC to fight whatever is causing your illness. Exercise, pregnancy, and even certain medications can induce an increase in WBC. Because a HWBCC or LKT may indicate an underlying disease, it is important to find the cause and treat it as soon as possible. This article will take you through the different types, causes and symptoms of LKT along with its treatment and prevention.
White blood cells are cells that protect the body from infections caused by viruses, parasites, fungi, bacteria, and other pathogens.
What Does A High White Blood Cell Count Mean
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